Alfred J. Kwak Reply to on 14 May 2010
|Miami Beach police lieutenant Vincent Mora(VM), a widower aged 41, is suddenly challenged when loaded with groceries, a nervous junkie pulls a gun on him, wanting his wallet. He tries to stall and bluff his way out, but the junkie shoots him. Lying on the pavement, VM puts three bullets through the fleeing robber.
On his back waiting for the ambulance, in weeks in bed in hospital, and on the beach of Puerto Rico, where he recovers from his injury, VM replays the scene of the robbery again and again. And wonders, did I handle this OK, am I past it, shouldn't I retire on three-quarters of my salary, and relax here in PR and do something else?
VM might still be pondering the question today, regretting the departure of his young and beautiful, dumb and ambitious hooker girlfriend Iris Ruiz to Atlantic City, where she is promised a job as a hostess in a casino, if the past had not caught up with him in the form of Teddy...
Repeat offender Teddy Magyk (TM) has been released after serving seven out of a 10-20 years sentence for aggravated rape. VM was the police officer who collared him for his last offence and Teddy, in prison jargon a "snake", now methodically moves closer and closer to VM and Iris. He wants to get even and tempts VM to respond, hoping for a final confrontation. The still recovering VM is gradually being forced to adjust his priorities, esp. when Iris' career in Atlantic City turns out to be short-lived. Brutally so.
This is a vintage Elmore Leonard novel and Vincent and Teddy are vintage Leonard creations. His novels are series of dialogues shored up by perspectives on anything and everything from the protagonists' minds. No interference from the author at all, except for the plot sketching the road the characters follow towards the inevitable showdown. Otherwise, great atmosphere and a book that reads like watching a film. "Glitz" was made into a film starring Jimmy Smits, who played police parts in a number of series made for television. One of his best.